You’ll Need To Win The Lotto To Afford This Custom Bike

101452267-LJ-Gold_01_R1_RGB.530x298Lauge Jensen, the Denmark-based maker of customized motorcycles, recently sold what is believed to be the most expensive bike (of current production) ever.

“Goldfinger” recently sold to an unnamed buyer for $850,000.  The bike is gold plated, and covered with 250 diamonds totaling 7 carats.  The seat is crocodile skin and all the parts were individually “gold plated” by hand.

Lauge Jensen the man behind the excess says he’s working on a new bike that will easily top $1 million dollars in value.  ”It’s going to have a lot of stones and diamonds,” he said. “We’re talking pretty wild stuff.  It’s a piece of jewelry on two wheels.”

We’re betting you won’t find this bike parked on Main Street in Daytona this week or Sturgis this summer.

Peterson Museum Throws Motorcycle Icon a Birthday Bash

Arlen Ness PhotoLos Angeles, Calif. (June, 2013) – Few, if any, have had a more prolific and respected career in custom motorcycle building than Arlen Ness, and the Petersen Automotive Museum is thrilled to honor the man himself and his creations with a Birthday Bash on July 12, followed by a motorcycle cruise-in on July 13 and a special summer-long exhibit titled Arlen Ness: Art on Two Wheels.

The Arlen Ness Birthday Bash on July 12 at 6p.m. will include cocktails and dinner in celebration of Ness. Friends of Arlen Ness will speak to honor the legend, who will also answer questions from the audience. Tickets are $95 and can be purchased at www.Petersen.org.

The exhibit will open on Saturday, July 13, marked with a V-Twin Cruise-In from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone who rides a motorcycle to the museum will receive free parking and two-for-one admission to the museum. Arlen Ness will be signing autographs at 11:00 am.

Arlen Ness: Art on Two Wheels, which runs through Sept. 8, 2013, will feature motorcycle masterpieces built by Arlen Ness that together embody a style and spirit that blends sculpture and the thrill of motoring on two wheels. Alongside Arlen’s bikes will be others built by his son Cory and grandson Zach—three generations of the Ness family have crafted some of the most stunning and trend setting custom motorcycles to ever grace the highway.

Ness began his career in the 1960s with the customization of a 1947 Harley Knucklehead. After entering the bike in local shows, he was noticed by future customers and started a business custom painting bikes. As his popularity grew and demand increased, Ness began selling custom parts and custom motorcycles with a stretched and lowered style which became the hallmark of his designs. After more than four decades, Ness has a large product line specializing in Victory and Harley-Davidson accessories and has received a variety of awards including Builder of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards and induction to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Historical Two-Wheeled Road Trips for 2013

Lonely Motorcycle on the HighwayMotorists aren’t fully experiencing the scenic vistas of the world behind a pane of glass. To fully enjoy the idiosyncratic terrain and climates of earth, one must ride by motorcycle. You’d be doing a disservice to the following routes by driving on any more than two wheels.

Motorcycle Prep

To launch any motorcycle road trip, your bike must be in supreme condition. Follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s safety acronym: T-CLOCS.

Tires & Wheels – Check your tire’s air pressure and treads. If the treads are worn down past what’s safe, consider a frugal replacement with discount Michelin tires to guarantee a safe journey. Inspect the spokes, bearings and brakes as well.

Controls – Check levers, switches, cables, hoses and throttle.

Lights & Electronics – Ensure that headlights, brake lights and electrical switches are fully functional.

Oil & Other Fluids – Inspect the oil, coolant and hydraulic fluid. Look for any fuel leaks.

Chassis – Consult the operator’s manual for suspension settings. Check the suspension and drive components and adjust for your load’s weight.

Sidestand – Check the tension spring and replace if need be.

Trail of Tears – Tennessee to Alabama

To honor and remember the Cherokee people, ride on this historic trail on Highway 72 from Chattanooga, TN, to Florence, AL. Every September, motorcyclists congregate to Chattanooga to participate in the only official Trail of Tears Motorcycle Remembrance Ride and honor the Native Americans who were extricated from their homeland after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Trail of Tears extends well beyond Florence and through several states  terminating in Oklahoma. There are several museums, parks, cemeteries and forts to visit for a lesson in history while traversing the Trail of Tears.  This year (2013) will mark the 20th anniversary of the ride.  http://www.trailoftears-remembrance.org/

Patagonia Tour – Argentina & Chile

Retrace the 1952 motorcycle journey of Che Guevara as depicted in his book and the movie “The Motorcycle Diaries.” The famed revolutionary began this great South American trip in Buenos Aires atop a 1939 Norton 500cc motorcycle. Once in Chile, head to Chuquicamata copper mine, the world’s largest open-pit mine. Onto Peru, you can view the remnants of the Inca Empire and the Amazon rainforest as Che did. Cross the Amazon river to eventually reach Bogota, Colombia and onto the finale: Caracas, Venezuela.

“Easy Rider” – California to Louisiana

In the iconic 1960s film “Easy Rider,” Wyatt and Billy take a journey across the American Southwest and South on the backs of their motorized steeds. Your first destination on this journey from L.A. to New Orleans is on the outskirts of Death Valley: Ballarat, California. Over the Colorado River and to Needles, Kingman and Flagstaff, you’ll encounter long stretches of arid desert, sandstone formations at Arizona and Utah’s border, mountains and vast American frontier. If you time the trip to coincide with the film’s timeline, you’ll make it to Louisiana just in time for Mardi Gras.

And You Call Yourself A Biker?

rockstore-5501The Oxford English Dictionary, (OED) was started four years before the outbreak of the Civil War, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the world’s most comprehensive single-language dictionary in print.  The online edition receives 2 million hits per month from paying subscribers.  So, we’ll concede they know a thing or two about the English language.

So it was a little surprising but not unwelcome when the Wall Street Journal reported recently that the Oxford (OED) had “softened” the pejorative  or negative connotation of the word “biker” in its online dictionary.

In the beginning, the term was defined as people who rode bicycles.  Of course in 1903, the Davidson brothers and Mr. Harley attached an engine to a bicycle frame and 50 years later the word “bikers” became synonymous with dirty long hair, denim, leather and tattoos and most often associated with “motorcycle gang members.”

Now OED has tweaked their definition a bit, including the word “motorcyclist” in the description.    Calling someone a motorcyclist brings to mind a more wholesome, family image of a hobbyist.  A “biker” is much more likely to be someone who is interested in the more hardcore aspects of the two wheel lifestyle, such as drinking and partying.

The OED online site still lists the colloquial term as someone who rides a bicycle.  The next official definition is “A motorcyclist, esp. a member of a motorcycle club or gang.”   

But wait a sec!  The article in the WSJ says the dictionary uses the term “one who is a member of a gang or group.”    But either the Wall Street Journal got it wrong, or someone at Oxford changed the words group to motorcycle club after WSJ posted their story.

Not a big difference, but subtle enough to change the connotation.  As someone who rides two wheels,  is Oxford is saying that to be called a “biker” you have to belong to a MC or a gang?

However, if you thought for a minute the explosion in popularity of the motorcycle subculture had erased any social stigma attached to the two wheel lifestyle, (esp with the stuffy high brow folks who edit English language dictionary’s) then you’re mistaken.

To prove my point, OED defines the term “biker bar” as n. a bar frequented by motorcyclists, esp. one regarded as disreputable.    

The only thing we’re left wondering is “how many bikers  does it take to constitute a biker bar?”  

 

 

AMA National Convention at Americade kicks off in Lake George, N.Y.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to recognize the start of Americade, an AMA National Convention, which will run June 7-11 in Lake George, N.Y. Attracting motorcyclists on all types of bikes, especially tourers, sport-tourers and cruisers, Americade offers some of the best riding in the country in addition to a full slate of events and entertainment.

“Americade is a gathering of true motorcycle enthusiasts, fun-loving folks who simply enjoy having a great time on two wheels,” said AMA Vice President of Membership and Marketing Dan Stedman. “The AMA is looking forward to being on location, supporting our members, signing up new members and enjoying ourselves at one of the premier events on the riding calendar every year.”

As part of its participation in Americade, the AMA is sponsoring the VT High Gaps Mini-Tour, Americade’s most popular tour. The AMA will provide prizes all four days of the ride, including aGoPro Hero HD camera, a Dispatch 1 Motorcycle Power Distribution System, XENA motorcycle locks, and DVD copies of the films Hard Miles 1 and 2, which tell the stories of the 2007 and 2009 Iron Butt Rallies.

In addition, the AMA will organize the AMA Women’s Brunch & Scenic Ride at the Roaring Brook Ranch, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., on Friday, June 10. Also on Friday, at 1 p.m. in the Ft. William Henry Resort Conference Center, AMA Riding Manager Dave Hembroff will offer a seminar on Powering Up Your Touring. AMA prizes also will be awarded at the Friday night Great Adventure ceremony for the Americade Poker Run.

In addition to all the great two-wheel camaraderie of Americade, the event features guided tours in the Adirondack Park and Green Mountains of Vermont, two motorcycle trade shows with nearly 250 vendors, demo rides, bike shows, barbecues, parades, music and comedy shows, boat cruises onLake George, museum tours, displays from nearly all the major motorcycle manufacturers, and more.

“The list of cool stuff to do at Americade is seemingly endless,” Stedman said. “Certainly, it’s more than any one attendee can possible jam into five days. I guess it’s a good thing there’s always next year!”

Americade is just one event on the calendar of AMA sponsored, promoted and sanctioned events for 2011. For more on AMA Road Riding events see AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Riding.

H-D Hits the Road this Summer With Willie Nelson’s Country Throw-down Tour

MILWAUKEE (May 23, 2011) – Two American icons, outlaw country music and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, launch the summer concert season this Memorial Day weekend with Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown tour. This second annual outdoor music tour mixes some of the hottest young artists in country music with the rogue roots of Harley-Davidson and America.

 

“Harley-Davidson and Country Throwdown represent the true essence of the American spirit, one that is deeply rooted in freedom and self-expression with a rebel spirit that never dies.” says Amanda Lee, Communications Manager at Harley-Davidson. “This spirit burns across generations and is one of the reasons why Harley-Davidson is the number one selling on-street motorcycle among Young Adults age 18-34 in the U.S.”

 

Harley-Davidson’s Golden Horse Saloon will be on site to rev up the action at each Country Throwdown tour stop. Tour headliners include Jamey Johnson, Lee Brice, Randy Houser and the legendary Willie Nelson. Randy Houser, fellow H-D rider, will be onsite at the Golden Horse Saloon before each of his performances to sign autographs and mingle with fans. Guests have the opportunity to swing their leg over a selection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles on display, including some of the newest additions to the Dark Custom family of bikes. Those who want to take the first step toward riding can feel the thrill of the throttle, fire up the engine and shift through the gears on a real Harley-Davidson motorcycle with JUMPSTART, Harley’s signature stationary riding experience – no license or riding experience required. There will also be VIP motorcycle parking for all those who already roll on two wheels.

 

Country Throwdown kicks off May 27th in Philadelphia, Pa., with 25 stops across America throughout June. The tour concludes July 4th with a wrap party at historic Billy Bob’s inFort Worth, Texas. For more information on Country Throwdown and to find a tour stop near you, visit: www.h-d.com/throwdown

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Love bug season in Southwest Florida is a stubborn, sticky time for drivers who have to scrape insect debris off the front of the car to avoid paint damage.

But try getting them out of your beard.

“When I go through a cloud, you don’t want to hug me,” said Dean Lindquist, a local motorcycle rider known as the Mayor for the resemblance his stature and facial hair bear to the “The Wizard of Oz” character.

In between the patches on the front of his black leather vest and around his matching angle-heeled boots are the telltale flecks of gray he couldn’t remove after recent rides.

Bugs in your whiskers and on your clothes may be one price to pay for choosing two wheels over four during the biannual love bug seasons, in April-May and August-September, but seasoned riders know there is more to it.

Smart riding right now means motorcycle riders have to pull over regularly during daytime runs to clean off their goggles and, for the more protected  Read More Here Continue reading


WSP Police Drop BMW for Honda Motorcycles

Ninety years ago, the Washington State Patrol was formed with troopers riding Indian motorcycles. The iconic bikes were replaced in recent years with BMW motorcycles for the state’s 43 troopers that ride on two wheels. Now, those troopers are getting new rides: the WSP is switching to Honda. “I think it’s a little bit smoother than the BMW, especially at higher speeds,” said Trooper Jeff Sevigney, one of four motorcycle troopers in the Spokane region.

“It’s a little bit easier to ride,” he said.

The Honda ST 1300 PA is powered by a four-cylinder engine arranged in a “V” alignment with a five-speed transmission. The model was introduced in Europe in 2002. It has well-placed crash bars along the sides to protect the driver in case of a spill. The bike will get Sevigney in and out of tight spaces and can go where a patrol car cannot. “We are less noticeable,” he said. The 15-year veteran won’t say how fast the motorcycle will go. “Fast enough is what I tell people,” he said.

Last week, he was working traffic along U.S. Highway 195 near Cheney-Spokane Road as part of a stepped-up enforcement and safety program along that busy corridor. It didn’t take long for him to pull over a few drivers. Within a few minutes, he nailed a semitruck driver going over the limit. Motorcycle troopers typically ride from March to November. They retreat to cars during winter months. A statement from WSP headquarters said, “The Honda ST 1300 PA was specifically manufactured for law enforcement use.

“The Honda was chosen over other models because of the balance, maneuverability, acceleration, overall performance, availability of service, and lower purchase and maintenance costs.”

 

Vespa Taps Budget-Minded MintLife to Help Consumers Plan a Cleaner, Cheaper Transportation Future

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK, April 13, 2011 –  Vespa USA

is joining forces with MintLife, the award-winning blog of Mint.com, the free personal finance website that helps budget-minded Americans track and manage their money.  To encourage consumers to rethink their transportation and commuting choices, MintLife has added motor scooter ownership to its portfolio of cash-conservation tips.  The more than 1 million daily visitors to MintLife will get a reminder that the road to savings – and foreign oil independence – is even faster when it’s occasionally traveled on two wheels.  An infographic of how motor scooters can change the urban transportation landscape, along with examples of how major U.S. cities from New York to San Francisco have joined the cause with special incentives for riders, is available at Vespanomics 2020.

 

Showing the measurable benefits of switching a percentage of vehicle miles to motor scooter miles is just one part of Vespanomics 2020

, Vespa USA’s forecast of how scooters can contribute to reducing our nation’s foreign oil imports by a third by 2025 – the target set by the current administration.  Vespa USA has been committed to educating consumers and officials about the tangible benefits of motor scooter commuting since introducing Vespanomics in 2006. The call to action today is no less urgent.  With fuel prices on the fast track to $4.00 per gallon, finite U.S. oil reserves and a national mandate, the need for reducing gas and oil consumption and ultimately foreign oil dependence is more important than ever.

 

As the Vespanomics 2020 data points out, it’s easy to make an immediate impact. From 1990 through 2000, there has been an average annual increase of 2,325,000 licensed drivers.  Looking forward to the year 2020, it is estimated that we’ll have nearly 237 million licensed drivers in the U.S., each averaging 14,274 miles annually. If just 10 percent of these licensed drivers shifted 33 percent of their miles to motor scooters, gasoline consumption would be reduced by 3.9 billion gallons per year.  That’s a reduction of 198 million barrels of oil from American ports, saving our nation $21.4 billion per year.  Motor scooters don’t just sip fuel; the new generation also runs super clean.  This occasional switch to two wheels would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 77.3 billion pounds annually and create in excess of 100,000 new domestic jobs

If Americans embrace Vespanomics over the course of the next decade, states and cities will need to make strides in ensuring that riders have a safe environment and incentives to switch. Some major cities aren’t waiting around – they’ve taken a leadership role in boosting ridership by creating awareness-building programs and proactively providing attractive incentives.  For example, San Francisco, Boston, Cincinnati,Seattle, and New York have all added special – and in some cases, free – parking for scooter commuters.

Key findings include :

If 10 percent of licensed drivers shifted 33 percent of their miles to two- or three- wheels:

o    Gas consumption reduced by 3.9 billion gallons/yr. (reduction of 198 million barrels of oil, saving the U.S. $21.4 billion/yr.)

o    Emissions reduced by 77.3 billion pounds/yr.

o    Create in excess of 100,000 domestic jobs

 

For more information on Vespanomics 2020, visit www.VespaUSA.com

or www.vespanomics.com.  For additional updates and news, check in often at www.Facebook.com/VespaUSA.